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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Legislation’

Employer’s Ultimatum to Accept Changes or Quit Backfires

Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

In McLean v Dynacast Ltd., 2019 ONSC 7146 (CanLII), the employer drastically changed the plaintiff’s job and forced him to accept the new arrangement or quit. The plaintiff chose the latter option and successfully sued for constructive dismissal. In accepting the plaintiff’s claim, the court summarized recent case law on mitigation, and awarded significant aggravated or moral damages to the plaintiff. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Security of Sex Workers Paramount in Court Decision

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

The recent criminal case of R. v. Anwar, 2020 ONCJ 103 (CanLII) involved a constitutional challenge to various provisions of the Criminal Code dealing with prostitution. The challenge contained a distinct workplace safety consideration: it alleged that the interplay between the challenged sections created a legal regime which was intended to prevent sex workers from lawfully using third parties to protect them and to prevent them from associating with others for their mutual protection-aspects which are natural, expected and encouraged in all other sectors of the economy. Before eventually declaring . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

New ESA Termination and Severance Pandemic Regulation

On March 19, 2020, the Government of Ontario created a new regulation under the Employment Standards Act, which created a new emergency leave to protect workers who were sick from COVID-19. This was an important protection to ensure that workers were not dismissed as a result of being sick during the pandemic.

As the pandemic drags on, and social isolation and distancing rules create significant economic barriers for businesses, many lawyers have been considering whether there would be an enormous wave of employment litigation following the conclusion of the pandemic. Many employers have had to reduce wages, modify the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Provincial Insolvency Decision Hangs in Balance

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

On March 26, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in Canada v. Canada North Group Inc., 2019 ABCA 314 (CanLII). The decision canvasses the priority that attaches to money that is borrowed in restructuring proceedings to preserve value in an insolvent company. The decision considered whether these charges rank ahead of other claims that are also granted priority under federal legislation. The issue, therefore, was the relative ranking of “super-priority” court-ordered charges in proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Open Question of Jurisdictional Boundaries of Labour Arbitrators and Human Rights Tribunals Makes Its Way to the Supreme Court of Canada

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, Student-at-law, Editor, First Reference Inc.

Effects of unionization on the employment relationship

Unions have a variety of significant effects on the employment relationship and greatly affect the rights and obligations of employers and employees. The repercussions of unionization are so significant that the law surrounding unionized workplaces is considered to be an entirely distinct area of law from law surrounding non-unionized workplaces.

One such difference related to unionization is the legal path workers are allowed to take when confronted with a human rights issue in the workplace. In such a case, a non-unionized worker could . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

COVID-19 & Employment Standards: Cross-Canada Review

To say COVID-19 has sped up the pace of change in employment law is an understatement. Usually it takes months (or even years!) to make changes to Canadian employment legislation, but now we are seeing significant amendments announced and in force on the same day.

In particular, the federal government and most of the provinces have responded to COVID-19 by quickly amending employment standards legislation. Key areas where we have seen changes are: leaves of absence, hours of work and termination of employment. Below is a cross-Canada review of the amendments we have seen since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Leaves

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

No Right to Bear Arms in Canada

On May 1, 2020, the Prime Minister of Canada announced that semi-automatic, assault-style weapons, would be banned,

These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.

Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade assault weapons in this country.

The full list of the over 1,500 weapons was published in the Canada Gazette, as a regulation to the Criminal Code provisions regarding the terms “non . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Employers Must Ensure All Overtime Work Complies With Employment Standards

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, Student-at-law, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In the federally regulated employment sector, working overtime hours is subject to a number of requirements under the Canada Labour Code. Although such legislation requires that any and all overtime work be compensated adequately, even providing such compensation does not ensure that employers in the federally regulated sectors are in compliance with their obligations. In a recent decision, an Ontario court decided an employer’s policy and labour practices regarding overtime hours failed to comply with the Canada Labour Code in a dramatic and broad class-action lawsuit brought by a . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Pandemic Exceptions to Limitations

From an evidentiary perspective, there are two principled reasons for having a limitations on civil actions. The first form can be found in historical precedents through ex ante statutes of repose, which establish a period of time through which an action must be initiated, barring any action after that time.

The second form is an extension of the common law doctrine of laches, which employs a discoverability rule based on reasonableness. The extent to which due diligence is exerted in this context is usually an important principle. This concept in common law also contained equitable principles that rights require vigilance . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

A Tour Through Pandemic Law for COVID-19

Canada has come a long way since the SARS pandemic in 2003. With the outbreak of COVID-19, here is a non-exhaustive overview of some of the ways that pandemics have come up in our legal system.

Keri Gammon makes the argument in the Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies that given the need for local implementation, provincial jurisdiction for pandemics is still warranted,

In extreme cases, such as where one province fails to act altogether in respect of a  public health emergency, federal jurisdiction may be required if only on a temporary basis. But with respect to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Maybe Bill C-7 Meets the Letter of the Law, but Does It Meet the Spirit?

The federal government has now introduced changes to its legislation on medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in response to the Truchon decision. The existing Criminal Code provisions, enacted after the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Carter, had been criticised on several grounds, particularly in requiring death to be “reasonably foreseeable” before someone is eligible for medical assistance in dying. The 2019 Quebec Superior Court decision in Truchon held that the foreseeability requirement in the Criminal Code and the parallel Quebec provision in that province’s End-of-Life Care Act are unconstitutional. The government’s Bill C-7 is in response to Truchon . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Brief Guide to Western and Atlantic Employment Law Changes in 2020

2020 promises to be a busy year in Western and Atlantic provinces with a variety of legislative and regulatory changes impacting employers in various ways. In this article, we provide employers with an overview of some of the key changes that have been announced in Western and Atlantic to assist in compliance. We also mention some changes that employers should anticipate being made in the coming year. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation